NAVUG spotter at Convergence: Where will you find IT and developer users?

navug with nameThis year, the NAVUG (NAV user group) is more active at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence than ever before, offering 19 sessions given by end users who use the software every day at their companies! There are plenty of opportunities to attend sessions on IT and developer topics and to meet other IT and developer end users.

The user group gets Monday’s sessions started with three sessions for IT and developer roles. Kali Petit, Systems Analyst Manager at Group O, gets the day going with a session on integrating Microsoft Dynamics NAV with SharePoint, while Kim Congleton, Director IT for Supply Chain Solutions at Group O, gives a session on reporting 101 using the role tailored client. Matt Traxinger, Dynamics NAV MVP and Developer at ArcherPoint, caps off the Monday sessions with database optimization and best practices in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Kali Petit is joined by David Long, SharePoint Practice Leader at Tribridge, and Doug Shepard, Director of Information Technology at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, as peer experts for an interactive discussion on getting more out of Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  Anticipating quite of bit of interest in this topic, the session is offered in time slots on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, Scott Rose, VP of Operations at Mirus Bio joins forces with Fria Kurowski, Account Manager for ABC Computers, for a session on how to make a smooth transition when moving from classic to RTC.

To end off the week, there is one last session offered on Thursday for folks looking for an interactive discussion with a peer panel related to upgrade experiences with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  This session makes NAVUG members who are in all different stages of NAV upgrade and implementation available to Convergence attendees to ask questions about what their experiences have been.  Peer panelists for this session are David Hatker, VP of IT at CCA & B, Kim Congleton, Director IT for Supply Chain Solutions at Group O, Kerry Rosvold, Corporate Controller at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, and Greg Kaupp, CEO of ArcherPoint.

Don’t forget there are plenty of opportunities on Monday during the time slots for roundtable discussion, with specific tables available for IT Managers, Developers and Programmers.  The IT and Developer roles dominate the hot topic roundtables this year covering upgrading, reporting in NAV, integrating NAV with SharePoint, NAV modifications, recent go lives, current implementations, and converting forms to pages.


NAVUG spotter at Convergence: Where will you find finance users?

navug with nameThis year, the NAVUG (NAV user group) is more active at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence than ever before, offering 19 sessions given by end users who use the software every day at their companies! There are plenty of opportunities to attend sessions on finance topics and to meet other finance end users.

On Monday, there is a session offered by Robb Delprado, President of Western Data Systems, on fixed assets, and a session on account schedules being offered by Kerry Rosvold (me!).

Robb and Kerry join Dave Wiser, Controller at Tillamook Cheese, and Lee Weiner, Chief Financial Officer at The Bradshaw Group, Inc. as peer experts for two sessions of Ask Your Peers: Finance Professionals, on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Kerry returns to do a session on dimensions, and Andy Snook, President of FastPath, offers a session on audit compliance.

All of these sessions are made possible by the NAVUG and the participation of their users!  Don’t forget about the roundtable discussions on Monday as well.  There are tables planned for CFO/Controllers and Cost Accountants where free discussion will be facilitated by user group leaders.  These are great opportunities to meet other end users who use NAV every day, just like you do!


List of official bloggers announced for Microsoft’s Convergence 2013

blog convergence headshotJon Rivers of Data Masons just wrote this article about how Microsoft is showcasing the role of social media at Convergence 2013.  http://www.datamasons.com/blog/2956/the-social-experience-elevating-social-media-at-microsofts-convergence-2013/

I’m happy to announce that I’m also one of the official bloggers on the list this year, and will be joining 11 other bloggers during the conference in keeping attendees in touch with the pulse of Convergence during the week.  Microsoft is providing all of the bloggers with Surfaces to keep us mobile, traveling light, and connected and is also providing a Social Media Command Center to give attendees a place to charge devices, sit, and observe or engage in social media activities.

Jon’s article lists all of the official bloggers, make sure to look it over and add these experts to your list of social media sources to watch during the week.

If you haven’t already, and especially if you’re not able to attend this year, subscribe to Dynamics NAV Financials through my email link, RSS Feed, or Facebook page; or for up to the minute updates, follow on twitter @krosvold!


NAVUG spotter at Convergence: Where will you find international users?

navug with nameThis year, the NAVUG (NAV user group) is more active at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence than ever before, offering 19 sessions given by end users who use the software every day at their companies!  For the first time ever, there are two international business sessions being offered by end users.  If you are looking to make connections with users who utilize NAV with a global or international emphasis in their businesses, these sessions are the place to be.

Sydney Stroyer is an International Supervisor with Bally Technologies and Jesus Carbajal is Head of Information and Systems at Nissin Foods of Mexico.  These two speakers, along with Alexander Lutz, Head of Microsoft Dynamics NAV at metabowerke GmbH, in Germany, will also be hosting a Hot Topics Roundtable on International Installations on Monday.

Don’t forget there is also an International Lounge at Convergence this year, located in the Atrium Cafe, next to the Starbucks.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV: How to Approach an International Deployment  UBNAV05  Monday, March 18    1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Would you like to network and share experiences with users with global deployments of Microsoft Dynamics NAV? If your company is running Microsoft Dynamics NAV in more than one country (or plans to!) join us and share your experiences. We’ll explore how your company has addressed challenges with operating Microsoft NAV on a large scale and/or on a multi-country scale. Share your experiences and in turn listen as peers share their knowledge on international installs. *Hosted by NAVUG*

Microsoft Dynamics NAV & Global Finance Accounting CSNAV14; Thursday, March 21 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Does your company manage international operations? Then this session is for you. This session is packed with information about the new financial management functionality in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. You’ll learn how to use currencies, review the recommended settings and find out how to update exchange rate currencies automatically. See how to setup an additional reporting currency on your G/L accounts, and how to consolidate accounts from subsidiaries – including amounts in other currencies. *Hosted by NAVUG*

It’s Convergence time! Where will you find the NAV people?

Anyone who knows me will nod their head and smile if you describe me as a compulsive planner. I have a white board in my office and my kitchen, my best friend will be happy to tell you an old college story about me and excessive use of index cards, and I’ve already been using my Convergence Schedule Builder for weeks. The biggest question I have every year is: where will I find the NAV people? With projections of over 11,000 attendees in 2013, it can be a serious challenge to find folks to network with who are using the same ERP solution. Here’s my list of where I’ll be looking for other people who use NAV every day, just like I do. UG people

1)  Watch for any session labeled with ID, these are interactive discussions and are generally your best bet to find like-minded NAV professionals.  The bonus of attending these sessions is that participants are encouraged to interact and discuss the topic during the session.  This is a great opportunity to ask questions of other NAV users, but is also a great chance to introduce yourself to someone later.  Catch them in the hall with a quick, “that was a great point you made on database optimization in that last session” and you’ve got an instant conversation starter.

2)  NAVUG, the NAV user group, is giving a session on Wednesday at 12:30 titled “Get to know NAVUG – your resource group for all things Microsoft Dynamics NAV”.  If you haven’t been involved with the user group yet, this is a great way to hear what they’re all about, meet a few folks, and see what they have to offer during the year. The user group also has a booth in the Expo hall.

3)  Go to the ILOVENAV.com booth, also in the Expo hall. This is a wonderful group of people who are looking to give NAV users a voice, using idea crowdsourcing, in what happens next with their chosen ERP solution.

4)  Head to the Microsoft help desk.  There is sure to be a line of people waiting for their appointed NAV guru to help them solve business challenges. Most of the folks standing there will also be NAV users, so don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation.

5)  Watch for the user group banner in the meal hall. There’s generally a banner somewhere in the meal hall that indicates a special roped off area for user group members. Do not be intimidated by the rope!  If you’re looking to meet other NAV users, come on in and come on over! Folks in the NAVUG are always happy to meet a fellow NAV user.

See you there!


Improve your professional skills by attending Convergence

learningToday’s business leaders actively pursue the skills they need to get the job done. Nobody is sitting around, waiting to hand you that knowledge; you’ve got to go out and grab it. Attending Convergence is one way to do that. Here are a few ways I improve my professional skill set every year.

Attend general and concurrent sessions to know what’s coming.  Make attending the general session for your ERP solution your top priority. This session is where you get the roadmap for the high level direction of the software. Knowing what’s coming as far as upgrade cycle, types of improvements, and strategic direction is important information to have when you’re back at home. Concurrent sessions are an even more detailed view into what you may see in the next year or two. Watch for trends and direct your thoughts to how the things you are seeing will affect future decisions at your company.

Keep your finger on the pulse of business and technology by networking with your peers.  Not all of the learning opportunities are found in formal sessions at Convergence. Take time to talk with people and ask them questions about how they do things in their businesses. What technologies are other people using? What’s working? What’s not working? What are best practices? What do they wish they could do? What’s being done in their industry? Take time to observe what devices people are using around you. Ask them about what app they’ve used lately that’s helped them out. Find out what books or blogs they are reading.

Learn directly from experts.  You’ve got huge opportunities at Convergence to talk directly with experts. Now is the time to ask those really nerdy, super technical, theoretical what-if type of questions. Microsoft experts are everywhere! Watch for members of the research and development teams for your software. Stop after sessions to talk with speakers about their content.  Make time to show up at the help desk to talk with the Microsoft gold support engineers who are there. All of these people are here at the conference specifically to talk about ERP software, so engage them in a conversation! You will often learn more in one of these conversations than you could ever imagine.

Get inspired by attending the keynotes.  One of the key skills I need to exercise as a leader is to instill hope for the future in my team. If you want to see a great model of this skill, go to the keynotes! I get my annual dose of inspiration every year at Convergence.

Make sure you plan to attend Convergence with some specific goals for improving your professional skill set.  The conference is full of opportunities.  What will you choose to pursue?

Kerry Rosvold has been the Corporate Controller at Augsburg Fortress Publishers since 2008 and has used Microsoft Dynamics NAV as her ERP of choice since 2004.  She blogs regularly at www.dynamicsnavfinancials.com


Guest blog on community.dynamics.com site

I’m guest blogging over on the community.dynamics.com site today.  Follow the link to learn how to Network and Collaborate at Convergence !


Learning about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

My company has started seriously discussing what we’re going to do about upgrading our NAV ERP system. With NAV 2013 released to market in October, we’ve got plenty to talk about. Of course, just like you and your companies, we’re nailing down exactly what the benefit of upgrading will be to our company specifically. We’ve talked about performance improvements and greater ability to get to data needed for reporting, but some of those concepts can get pretty intangible in these beginning discussions.

We’ve already talked about the big concepts, but what people really want to know about right now are the real concepts:  exactly how will an upgrade in the software increase our productivity, make us more efficient in our jobs, and ultimately, help us to drive revenue, decrease costs, or increase cash?

So, I’m beginning to gather ways to start to show people at my company, in a tangible way, what the upgraded version can do for them. Here’s where I’m at so far:

1)  Get groups of stakeholders to start to attend webinars about NAV 2013. I’ve had to chance to attend Microsoft Convergence and see all this stuff, they haven’t. I need to get them exposed to seeing this incredibly different version and what it can do for them. One way I’ll do this is to have them attend webinars sponsored by the NAV user group, NAVUG. They’ve got one scheduled called “A Guided Tour of NAV 2013”, and I’ve got a group organized to attend already.  I’m betting we’ll see quite a bit of material about NAV 2013 from the user group in the next year. One of the best things about the user group webinars is that they’re recorded, so if we want to review the webinar later, anyone in my company has that option.

2)  Learn as much as I can about the nitty-gritty details so I can promote them in a real way. I’m constantly searching the web (seriously, I “Bing” everything) for new information about just about anything. Right now, I’m focusing on NAV 2013. I just found a great YouTube video, “What’s New Dynamics NAV 2013 – User Productivity Enhancements“. In six quick minutes I got about five takeaways that I can start to use. My favorite?  NAV 2013 has improved error messages to help end users resolve problems. I’m going to take this info back to work with me and make sure people know we could have less help desk traffic because the new NAV version makes it a lot easier for end users to solve their own errors on the spot.

3)  Get a test copy of NAV 2013 installed so I can start to play around with it myself. I’ve done this with previous versions, so now it’s time. I can get a demo copy installed and start touring the menus, trying things out, and teaching myself how to use the new version. What’ll I try out first?  I can’t wait to get my hands on the cash flow forecast!  Once I’ve got some level of mastery of the new version, I can start showing folks what improvements will apply to them personally, in their jobs.

I’ll keep posting here as I find useful things to share with you.  Hopefully, as you begin your process to discuss the upgrade plan for your company, you’ll find some ideas on things that’ll work for you and your companies.

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